Interesting quotes by Mortimer Collins

The true way to render age vigorous is to prolong the youth of the mind.

A man is as old as he’s feeling, a woman is as old as she looks.



A brief biography of Mortimer Collins

Mortimer Collins was born on June 29, 1827 in Plymouth, Devon, England. He was a journalist, poet and novelist—sometimes using the pen name, R. T. Cotton (Robert Turner Cotton). One of his well-known novels is The Marquis and Merchant. Collins’ The Secret of Long Life, though it was first published anonymously in 1871, holds most of Collins’ fruitful works.

Born as Edward James Mortimer Collins, he always aspired to become a journalist. His father, Francis Collins, had also published a book of spiritual songs in 1824. He was privately educated and while he was a student, he wrote for newspapers.

From 1849-1856, Collins worked as a Mathematical Master at Queen Elizabeth’s College. During his later time there, Collins would publish Idyls and Rhymes, in 1855. Afterwards, he decided he wanted to dedicate his life to journalism and moved to London. There, Mortimer Collins accomplished his journalistic dreams. He wrote an extraordinary number of articles for various publications, mainly the London Globe. Collins also submitted articles to Punch magazine, British Quarterly and World, to name a few of the many.

In 1868, Collins married his wife, Frances Collins. They had one daughter together, Mabel Collins. His wife was a writer and soon their daughter would follow in her parents’ footsteps. Upon his marriage to Frances, Mortimer moved to Knowl Hill, in Berkshire—a little more than 50 miles west of London. This is where Collins would contently devote more time to his work—writing all day and well into the night of the next morning. At that location is where he produced his renowned collection, The Secret of Long Life, as well as his best received novel, The Marquis and Merchant.

Sometime in the winter 1869-1870, Collins developed a rheumatic fever, affecting his heart. Though he didn’t show any pertinent symptoms at the time, heart disease was familiar in his family’s health history. In 1873, his mother died from heart disease. It wasn’t until 1876 when Mortimer’s health took a turn for the worst, though he didn’t show any serious symptoms until late June, when he noticeably (and quickly) declined.

Mortimer Collins died on July 28, 1876 in Knowl Hill, Berkshire, England. The cause of his health problems and eventual death was heart disease. He was 49-years-old. Before his untimely death, some of Collins’ poems were published in the 1876 issues of Littell’s Living Age—“Death the Poet’s Birth” and “Last Verses Written by Mortimer Collins.”

Thanks to Mortimer Collins, the word psithurism made its debut into the English Language. The word derived from the Ancient Greek word for whisperpsithuros—which Collins used explicitly to describe the wind in his collection titled, The Secret of Long Life. “Another day the sweet south is blowing; do you not see how the larch and lime palpitate with pleasure?. . . do you not hear the musical psithurism of the feathered foliage?”


Works by Mortimer Collins

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